Typically, sisters who feel like they need to spend more time together show up at each other’s doorstep more frequently, grab coffee or dine together. But not Kristín, Sigrún and Lilja Björk. Faced with this problem they decided to put their energy towards something more challenging and creative and started a company designing and selling quality wall stickers and window decorations.
Meet Vegg design.
The sisters found a gap in the Icelandic market for decorative wall stickers produced from durable quality material. Founded in 2012 they started from scratch, set up shop in their grandmother’s garage and were selling their products in stores by 2013. The quality factor of the product or the secret weapon is the material they use. A strong polymer film that attaches securely to the wall and doesn’t peel off like films made from inferior materials tend to do.
The three of them press, cut and pack the products themselves in neat and secure cardboard tubes and strengthened envelopes. To add the dot over the i (as we say in Iceland) an informative text about the design is included with each product. Their product themes are unofficially categorized into two segments. Fortunate Isle is designed by sisters where they draw inspiration from Iceland’s nature and culture. Secondly, a collaboration with two other artists, Pétur Behrens and Guðrún Sig. Pétur Behrens specialises in drawing horses and Guðrún Sig draws up lively birds and whales.
We sat down with Lilja Björk and got to know more about the company, how they began, their creative process and future plans.
From right: Lilja Björk, Sigrún and Kristín. Photo: Runólfur Birgir Leifsson.
What motivated you and your sisters to start your own wall sticker brand and production?
My sisters and I had been talking about doing something meaningful together for quite some time and one day we were sitting at a café talking about how much we liked wall stickers. That was the beginning of Vegg. I remember us looking excitedly at each other saying: “Should we? Let’s just do it! Ok we are doing it!” And so we started the company. None of us had any background in design but I am now finishing up my first year studying graphic design at Iceland Academy of the Arts.
What inspires your design and how would you describe the creative process?
We knew that we wanted to draw inspiration from Icelandic nature and culture. There are so many possibilities such as runes and symbols of magic, natural wonders, animals and cultural things. We brainstormed with photographs we took ourselves, bought or borrowed and modified from Google. Soon we added stickers that we drew up from the work of two artists, Guðrún Sigurðardóttir and Pétur Behrens.
Can you describe the process from the design stage to the end product?
All of the stickers begin as photos or drawings. From the images we create simple outlines in the computer that then go through our plotter. Some of our stickers we print first with a company called Bræðurnir Baldursson, they provide excellent service and do a really neat job. Then we cut the stickers and the films (printed or unprinted) and pluck away the excess material from the sticker. After that we put the final film over each sticker and pack them either in cardboard tubes or envelopes depending on the size of the sticker. We sell our products both through our e-commerce website www.vegg.is and retail stores. We have participated in markets in Iceland like The Pop-up Market, Handverk og Hönnun in City Hall and Handverkshátíðin in Akureyri. That’s a fun experience and a great way to connect with the customer.
Where do you see the company heading in the next few years?
The business has been a side business for all of us for the four years we’ve been operating so we haven’t had the time to expand the business like we want to. We have learned very much through this experience and we are always trying to find new ways to improve our business. We have added some new features since we started such as reusable window decorations that are printed with white ink on a cling film. We’ve also added three colors to our collection: white, steel and bronze. Our goal is to keep on providing great customer service and to create beautiful products. We can see a definite growth in our customer base on a yearly basis and that is always a good feeling.
Do you think you will ever expand the brand to other productions than wall stickers and window decorations?
We started this with the wall stickers but there is nothing that says we can’t go into another direction. We now own this company together and we can take it wherever we want to. The bottom line is that we want to sell beautiful quality products and keep the focus on good customer service.
Vegg Design’s website: www.vegg.is houses their product selection and informational texts alongside instructional videos showing how to set up the decorations properly and how to remove them securely. Additionally it’s an online store but the beautiful products can also be found at brick and mortar stores Kraum, Iða Zimsen, Gullfoss Café and Hrafna.
Photography: Lilja Björk
Tags: Icelandic Design, Wall Stickers
Elfa is a born and bred Icelander and a design, arts and music enthusiast who loves to write. Her mantra is “follow your instincts” and she aspires to live her life by gut intuition, or what feels like the right thing at any given time. Hence, she is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in marketing from Boston.
Here at Nordic Style Magazine she combines her two hobbies, writing and culture.
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